Shopary

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“Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” – Proverbs 31:8-9

These were just a few places in scripture that inspired the foundation and core values of recently launched lifestyle goods brand, Shopary.

Just launched in September 2018, Shopary is an online shopping experience that offers disruptive pricing on thoughtfully curated goods selected from thousands of producers world-wide. The company seeks to give shoppers a shopping experience that reflects integrity in product pricing, the production-process, and quality.

Founded by LA-based husband and wife duo, Vay Ho and Sherry Chan have always been value-conscious shoppers. Familiar with product markups, the couple was committed to purchase products only when they knew they were purchasing at the price point that the product was actually worth. Vay has been an entrepreneur for over a decade, working on the importer sector within the global marketplace. From his 10+ years in the industry, he became aware of the shift in power from distributors and importers, to factories. Sherry has also been engaged in researching and understanding true manufacturer pricing, and from this knowledge was convinced that there had to be a more fair, just, and thoughtful way to get accurate pricing on ethically curated goods.

Thus, Shopary was born! The idea behind the company is to create a platform that gives consumers direct access to factory goods at near factory prices (ie, minimal markup). The company does so much more than create an integrity-filled shopping experience, though. Along with sourcing from traditional manufacturers, they also source products from individual artisans through social enterprises in developing communities which provide economic opportunity to the poor, the disadvantaged, and the vulnerable.

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“Our approach to business is uncompromising –In every part of the experience, from producer to consumer,” Co-founder, Sherry shares. “We know there is a population of consumers who want to do good with their purchases. We’re with them. But we also know that within this population lie consumers who face the barrier of artisanal goods often marked at high prices.”

Sherry and Vay are certainly on to something as they recognize the desire of many consumers to shop ethically. And shouldn’t we as followers of Jesus, be especially conscious of what, and how we consume? Oftentimes consumerism is held up as an idol; pitted against the greed-free, sacrificial, simple lifestyle that Jesus calls us to follow in his footsteps in. It’s something we should avoid. But if we’re honest with ourselves, we need to consume to survive — whether it be in the form of food, water, shelter, clothing, etc. If this is the case, rather than avoid consuming altogether, we should instead ask ourselves what it looks like to consume in a just, ethical, and intentional manner. If consumerism is not to become an idol, we must be aware of its power and ask for God’s discernment in how, when, and what we consume.

Sherry & Vay both grew up with a sense of wanting to do good and change the world, as many of us do. Although neither of them grew up in Christian households, faith in Jesus came to be the core of their life mission and career. Having begun following Him in highschool and college, they became rooted in Jesus’ commandments to love one’s neighbor, and to care for the poor. Shopary has become an incredible opportunity to do so actively and practically, by providing accessible ethical consumerism to shoppers, and economic opportunity for those in poverty.

Our faith drives us to action,” Sherry explains. “It drives us to travel across the world to personally meet and recognize the individuals who work so diligently, and we are humbled by their overcoming of difficult circumstances. It drives us to empower them, to [elevate] their voices, to let their stories be heard. We trust in God’s guidance as we navigate the business. We trust His calling for us as we see business as a mission to do justice, to love, and to serve others.”

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Shopary’s Sustainability Collection reflects this pursuit of justice as it partners with organizations that directly help local communities in developing countries. One Sustainability Collection partner specifically trains and employs young women who are at risk (or were formerly victims of) human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Laos. The provision of a secure job then allows for educational opportunity, helping to keep these women out of the trafficking industry. Another partner intentionally employs women with disabilities in Laos. In both Western society and globally, opportunities for those with differing abilities are slim, making it otherwise difficult to break out of cycles of poverty. A partner in Vietnam employs communities from rural villages, providing stable jobs and opportunity for sustainable economic growth. Apart from providing economic growth opportunities, these handcrafted goods are also made with eco-friendly, sustainable materials. They are both good for the communities they’re made in, and good for the planet.

While Vay and Sherry have just officially launched an incredible business, they also recognize the hard work it took to get here. “We’ve faced a lot of self-doubt. It’s a mental and sometimes emotional struggle. We’ve repeatedly asked ourselves if this new concept would work. We’ve faced a lot of setbacks from our original timelines, which resulted in more doubt. But the doubt never stopped us from moving forward.”

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As our own relationship with Jesus is personally reflected in our art, career, and day-to-day life; we too face doubt, emotional struggle, and unexpected setbacks that discourage us from continuing to pursue His kingdom. Whether you’re starting a kingdom-minded business like Sherry & Vay, or simply learning what it means to allow Jesus’ love holistically fill your life, their experience leaves us with a word of encouragement to persevere —

“The biggest battle is the temptation to give up. You overcome a battle every time you choose not to give up. Keep going, even if the world is against you.”

Want to learn more about Shopary’s story, what they’re up to, and shop their products? Check out their website: https://shopary.com/

// By Mariko Sandico

Talk Shop with Joanna Waterfall

Written by Katelan Cunningham // Republished from Lumi

img_9616The thing that stands out most about the Yellow Conference is that all of the speakers talk in the same room. As an attendee, you experience one inspirational, insightful talk after the next, and over the two days, you’re experiencing all of this with the same group of ambitious women.

The creator of this game-changing conference is Joanna Waterfall, and she’s just as optimistic, hard-working, and creative as you might expect. While pursuing a career as a freelance designer and feeling the tension amidst women in her industry, Joanna created the Yellow Conference and it’s been a hit year after year. She’s our next Talk Shop speaker and we can’t wait to to ask her all the things about how she’s building an impactful community around her conference with her new project, the Yellow Collective. Read more from Joanna below and RSVP here.

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Photo by Cait Elizabeth

“I think it’s easy to think that when you’ve had one thing go right that everything from there will go right too.”

Why “Yellow?”

When I was thinking about what I wanted this conference to be, I started thinking how I wanted to encourage women to be like bees. Bees are hardworking, they live and work in community, they do nothing but what they were created to do. And in doing what they were created to do, they make flowers bloom, plants grow, and give us fruit to eat. They don’t even realize the impact they are having on the world, because they are just being themselves. This is what I wanted to encourage our attendees to do. Be themselves, work hard, and see the blooms spread. Bees are yellow!

Also, being a graphic designer, I loved the idea because I could see the entire brand in my head. Everything yellow. I knew it would stand out, it’s happy, positive, and bright. Everything fell together! And the domain name was available. Always a good sign.

What’s the toughest skill you had to learn to run a conference?

So many things! I think the toughest thing I’ve had to learn is that you’re never done. There’s always something to be learned, something around the corner, something you can improve upon. I think it’s easy to think that when you’ve had one thing go right that everything from there will go right too. But our world is changing constantly, and we always have to be in the know, and never stop learning. The better I can get at that, the more everything falls into place.

What’s been the craziest thing to happen at a Yellow Conference?

It’s hard to say because there are so many things that happen that I don’t hear about until later, or even years later, or never hear about at all. With 450 women in one inspirational space, it’s hard to know everything that’s happening! Honestly though, I think the craziest thing for me is always seeing how passionate, caring, and amazing our attendees are. Hearing from them how much they have been impacted by the conference, how they feel like they finally found their people, all of that continually blows my mind. I’m grateful beyond words to be able to play a small part in impacting these women’s lives. It’s surreal for me!

Who is your dream speaker?

Jessica Alba, Brene Brown, or Elizabeth Gilbert — if you’re out there, call me!!

How do you keep from getting overwhelmed as you get closer to the conference?

I constantly think about what I’m going to do after the conference. I know it might sound funny, but when I envision myself going through my day to day routines on the Monday after the conference, it helps me to know that life goes on, soon this conference will be over, and to not be overwhelmed by it. It’s easy for me to pour all of my energy into it and then completely burn out and hit a low after it’s over, because I didn’t envision anything afterwards! I keep my eye on the long term. It really helps!

Where do you see the Yellow Conference and Yellow Collective in 5 years?

I hope to be in a place where we are the go-to for creative women who want to make a difference. Where anyone looking to live a purposeful life and do it through creating a business they love knows that the Yellow Co. community is where they need to start and stay in order to make their dreams a reality.
What that looks like practically, I’m not sure, but I know I’m aiming high!

Feature image by Valerie Metz.


Come talk to Joanna about what it takes to build
a business & community. RSVP here.

934112_10151546800437648_467617516_nWhen: Thursday, October 6, 2016.

Talk is at 7 p.m.

Wine, cheese, and mingling at 6:30.

Feel free to come early and check out our HQ!

Where:
 3828 S Santa Fe Ave, Vernon, CA 90058

Hosted by: Lumi

Spire: Responding by Design

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Spire is a body seeking to
cultivate the intersection between
servanthood & design.

VISION

To be stewards of our gifts and talents while following in Christ’s footsteps to fulfill our purpose as creators.

MISSION

To help graphic designers discover, understand, and acknowledge their purpose and creative calling through cultivating the intersection between servanthood and design. Spire curates, moderates and instigates the exploration of what that means as a called seeker of Christ.

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STORY

Spire was born out of the realization that graphic design is not merely a means to a paycheck, but rather serves as a catalyst for purpose in our everyday life. Spire is a body of creatives that recognizes the value in coming together to combine individual strengths, perspectives, and hopes to understand our calling.

unnamedUPCOMING EVENT

Spire invites all design/creative professionals and students to attend their fourth quarter event, Responding by Design, in the Arts District of DTLA. Special guest panelists will be exploring the topic of what it means to be called to be a creative/designer/thinker.

WHEN: Saturday, October 8, 2016  // 7:00PM to 9:00PM

WHERE: ArtShare LA

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We are honored to welcome the following guest speakers to this event:
Brad Abare – Design Thinking Executive; Personality
Tishia Que – Creative Director; Good Paper
Alex Lauderdale – UI/UX Designer; Google

Sponsored by:
Azusa Pacific University Art & Design
Execuprint Prepress and Printing
La Semilla Cold Brew Coffee

We will be having free snacks and drinks as well as giveaways and door prizes!
Let us know if you are coming here.

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For more information about this event, please visit: Upcoming Events

www.wearespire.com

 

Generation Distinct

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Generation Distinct began with a 20 year old girl who was called by God to pursue a big dream for her generation. 

Generation Distinct is not my dream. It is God’s dream for this generation and for this world.

It all began when I looked around at my own generation and realized so many of us were settling for the mediocrity the world expects of us.  I noticed so many of us were leaving the Church in masses. I realized there was so much potential for good and world change in our generation because we are passionate and we have big dreams and yet we were leaving that potential untapped and unnoticed.

I started to think, “God, someone has to do something about this!” 

Someone had to tell our generation we have so much potential that must be leveraged.

Someone had to tell our generation we don’t have to wait until we are older to make a difference in the world for Your glory.

Someone had to tell our generation we don’t have to walk away from God to find our adventure.

Someone had to call our generation to something greater.

I said, “God, someone has to do this.” 

He responded in that moment and said, “That’s right, Hannah. How about you?” 

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I almost pulled out my birth certificate to remind God how unqualified I was to start something and to carry His vision for this generation. I said, “No God you don’t understand, I’m really young. I don’t know what to do. I am not qualified. I’m young.” 

But He responded back and said, “That’s kind of the point.” 

If I have learned anything through the adventure of Generation Distinct it’s that God doesn’t care what your age is when He calls us to change the world…He still calls us.

And I’ve learned He doesn’t care how old we are or how young we are when He calls us to live a great story.

Before I knew it, a team was gathered and, suddenly, the dream of Generation Distinct became a reality.

– Hannah Gronowski

What is Generation Distinct?

Generation Distinct is an organization that exists to unleash a movement through inspiring and equipping the next generation to discover their passions and join the adventure of changing the world for Christ.

Generation Distinct INSPIRES and EQUIPS the next generation.

 We INSPIRE the next generation to believe three things.

1) You have the potential to change the world, make a difference and pursue Christ no matter how old you are or how unqualified the world may say you are.

2) There is a wrong you were born to make right.  Injustice abounds in this world, and the next generation’s passion and grit is needed.  When God was creating the plan of the entire world and your name came up, what did He say you would do? It’s time for YOU to believe you have a unique purpose to change the world.

3) A Movement of redemption and renewal can be unleashed in this generation.  Considered by some to be the “ME” Generation while viewed by others as the most justice-conscious and generous generation ever, even our parents, bosses and teachers can’t seem to figure us out. But, God knew this generation would be motivated to work for justice, hungry for a rallying cry, and yearning for a community to rally with. The time is now.

We are the generation to start a movement. 

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We EQUIP our generation to take action on those three things.

1) We create TOOLS. Our Generation wants to take action, they just don’t always know where to start. We want to eradicate that problem.  Generation Distinct produces tools that any person can utilize in order to start making a difference and pursuing Christ no matter their age, place, or experience.

2. We guide you to create your own WORLD CHANGE STRATEGY.

*Stay tuned for more information on this exciting project that is in development! 

3) We invite you to JOIN THE MOVEMENT. We want to be a part of something greater than ourselves.  Generation Distinct gives you that opportunity.  Champions are on the front lines of this movement, spreading the vision in their communities.  They live out the vision and spread it everywhere they go. Find more information HERE!

How would our world change if we, the next generation, discovered the life Jesus actually invites us to live?

He calls us to risk daringly, to surrender everything, and to fight boldly for His glory and to save the lost and to change the world.

The mission He has given us in anything but boring or safe.

This is what we are longing for – A cause greater than ourselves we can actually give our lives to.

“God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go! This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are.” // Romans 8:14-17 (MSG)

THIS is why the vision of Generation Distinct matters.

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If we can inspire a Generation to believe these truths of who Jesus truly is, and if we can give them the tools to actually begin taking action, we believe our generation will be more committed to Christ and doing His work than any generation in all of history.

For more about Generation Distinct, please visit: www.generationdistinct.com

Photos courtesy of Generation Distinct & Hannah Gronowski